New variant (oh,no!), vaccine verification update, Council passes supplemental budget, new County districts, honoring former Councilmember Larry Gossett, teenage sea turtle woes, and snowpack in the future...

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Banner image showing King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

November 29, 2021

Turtle- Photo by Alan Berner, Sea Times

Photo by Alan Berner, The Seattle Times. See today’s Moment of Inspiration.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,  

You could almost hear a collective exasperated groan break out across the globe as the identification of a new “variant of concern” – omicron - was announced on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Columnist Zeynep Tufecki of The New York Times wrote a fascinating column about the need to act quickly on this new variant, and one of the points she made is that thanks to very quick work on the part of public health officials in South Africa, we have an early warning on this new variant.

See more information below on the new variant, as well as information on vaccine verification and help with transportation to vaccine appointments. As always, a good place to check for the latest COVID information and resources is this County page.

Also you may know that the Council unanimously passed our mid-biennial supplemental budget last Tuesday. The $672 million budget will fund climate projects, gun violence reduction and restore crucial services. Over the past two years, we’ve been able to make important and equitable investments in public health, transit, housing, and public safety, and this mid-biennial budget continues these investments. More details on the budget are below, including funding for projects and services in my District Four.

The Council will not be meeting this week, which typically is the case on the fifth Tuesday of the month. And the legislation on next steps for King County acquiring City Hall Park from the City of Seattle was referred to the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, which I chair, where it will be taken up for action at our December 8th meeting and then hopefully for final action at the December 14th meeting of the full Council.

As always, I would like to hear from you. You can call me at 206-477-1004 or you can reach me by email at   

All the best and I hope you are staying safe.